Young Communists irked by ‘ZEE attack’

2010-09-06 13:07

The Young Communist League (YCL) has distanced itself from its national chairperson David Masondo’s criticism of the business dealings of President Jacob Zuma’s family.

Masondo penned an opinion piece on what he termed “Zuma economic empowerment” for City Press newspaper on yesterday.

Masondo wrote: “BEE [black economic empowerment] is increasingly becoming too narrow, amounting to ZEE, that is, Zuma Economic Empowerment.

“The recent multi-billion-rand Arcelor-Mittal BEE deal involving Duduzane, President Jacob Zuma’s son, is another example of how BEE has become too narrow.

“Only a few can be misled to believe that there is no link between Zuma’s rise to the presidency and his family’s rise to riches.”

He criticised the current BEE model, saying it was “structured favourably for politically connected politicians and their proxies to enter into business through the state”.

YCL national spokesperson Gugu Ndima said there were already “strained relations” within the ruling alliance – the ANC, the Congress of SA Trade Unions and the SA Communist Party. She said the league would “play no further role in deepening these strained relations”.

“We have emphasised the need to desist from public attacks on any leader of the alliance in the manner in which Comrade Masondo has attacked the president of the ANC and of the republic, and will further take this engagement internally.”

The league found it “discomforting” that Masondo never canvassed these views internally within the YCL, but had made them public in his capacity as the organisation’s national chairperson.

She said the YCL had in the past expressed its “discomfort” at the way the Arcelor Mittal BEE deal was structured and had been vocal on its opposition to “narrow BEE”.

It stood firm on these views, but believed they should be raised in a way that strengthened and maintained the unity of the alliance.

“Whatever our views, whether wrong or right, there are set organisational processes to raise these views.”

She called on members to exercise restraint and use organisational platforms, not the media, to raise issues.

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